THE TIME OF easter AND IT'S SEASON
It begins with evening prayer on Holy Saturday and ends with midday prayer on Pentecost.
Easter is not merely a one-day celebration; it is a fifty-day season from the Day of the resurrection of Our Lord to the Day of Pentecost. This extended season-one seventh of the year-is a victory celebration, a time all Christians to proclaim boldly their faith in a risen and victorious Savior.
The first celebration of Easter is the Easter Vigil, the evening of Holy Saturday. The Vigil includes a service of light. In which fire symbolizes Jesus as the light of the world. The service is designed to take the Christian from the solemnity of Good Friday to the predawn joy of Easter.
Easter is the richest and most lavishly celebrated festival of the Church Year. Congregations may hold a sunrise service, commemorating the surprise of the women visiting the empty tomb of Christ, as well as services that celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. While not as lavish, this joyous and celebratory tone echoes down through the Sundays of the Easter season.
Forty days after Easter, the Church celebrates the Ascension of Our Lord, who ascended into heaven not only as God but as man. The final Sunday of Easter Season, celebrated as Pentecost, was adopted by early Christians the commemorate the first great harvest of believers for Christ. Thus, Pentecost is the birthday of the Christian Church, as the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and they gave their compelling witness about the resurrected Lord. The color of the Day of Pentecost is red, representing fire and blood. Red recalls the tongues of fire received on the first Pentecost and the martyrs who shed their blood for the faith.
During Easter, we rejoice in our salvation.
Matthew 28 | Luke 24 | John 12:24-25; 20:1-29: 21:1-14 | Acts 1:6-11: 2:1-4|
EASTER PRACTICES AND TRADITIONS
- The colors of Easter are white and gold. White, the color our Lord's holiness, is everywhere on easter, from the paraments and vestments to the traditional Easter lilies. Gold decoration reminds us that our resurrection life in Christ is precious and eternal.
- After a long absence in Lent, Alleluia returns at Easter and is heard everywhere in the Propers appointed for the weeks after Easter. Also, the joyous Hymn of Praise and the Gloria Patri return and are sung as part of the liturgy once again.
- During the Easter season, we greet one another with a special Easter greeting and response: "Alleluia! Christ is risen!" "He is risen indeed! Alleluia!"